|Can we stay the course on education?|
|Can we stay the course on education?
(Oxfam) Education is an aid good news story, but one that needs renewed commitment if it is not to turn sour. This from ‘Rescuing Education for All’, published by Oxfam yesterday:
‘Remarkable progress was being forged across the developing world, spurred by a new global commitment to the Education For All (EFA) goals. These goals were answered by substantial increases in aid during the first half of the decade, extensive debt relief, and a growing political commitment to education in developing countries. The EFA Fast Track Initiative (FTI) was also established in 2002 as a global partnership to support national efforts to reach universal primary education.
Results soon followed. The number of children out of school worldwide fell by 33 million to a total of 72 million in 2007. The primary school net enrolment rate for all developing countries increased twice as fast in the years after 1999 as it did in the 1990s. Aid increases enabled many African countries to abolish primary school tuition fees, leading to substantial enrolment increases. The gender gap began to narrow, and gender parity at the primary level was achieved in two-thirds of countries with data.
However, things took a less promising turn in the middle of the decade. By 2005, global aid commitments for basic education had begun to stagnate, followed by an alarming 22 per cent decline between 2006 and 2007.
In addition to this slowdown, the quality of aid for education has been unacceptably poor: it is too often uncoordinated, fragmented, and driven by donor priorities. For example, in 2006, Cambodia had 16 donors implementing 57 projects in the education sector alone. Some donors continue to bypass national systems, to provide their aid programs in isolation from national strategies, and to use short-term trajectories, undermining the longer-term impact of their aid.
Big challenges have also remained in meeting the Education for All goals. Despite the upward enrolment trend, there were still more children out of school globally in 2007 than primary school-aged children in the entire developed world. In spite of strong evidence that educating girls delivers powerful economic and public health benefits, girls’ enrolment has continued to lag behind that of boys, especially at the secondary level’...................
Source: Duncan Green, Head of Research for Oxfam
Complete Article: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/?p=1753
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